Top 20 Percent Is Twice as Good at Converting as the Rest


Average practitioners of digital marketing realize, on average, 2.6% conversion rates. Apparently, they’re not trying hard enough. Best in class marketers—those in the top 20% for conversion—hit paydirt almost twice as often, according to Adobe’s 2014 Digital Marketing Optimization Survey, released today. The main reasons: Top performers test more, spend more, and do a better job of delivering personalized content.

Adobe surveyed more than 1,000 marketers in North America, Europe, and Asia, and identified five common traits among the elite 20%:

1. They do more testing. Upwards of 70% of champion converters use testing in various capacities compared to only 46% of the field. Moreover, their methods don’t begin and end with A/B splits. Partly to get better cooperation from senior management in their efforts, they are more likely to test what methods will optimize their returns on stated corporate objectives.

2. They spend more. Better buy-in means bigger budgets. Sixty percent of respondents from the top 20% said they devoted more than 5% of their budgets to optimization activities versus just 39% of the rest of those surveyed. Indeed, 10% of top performers reported spending in excess of 25% of their marketing stakes to optimize results. Adobe says the top performers are 50% more likely to prioritize testing and, as a result, they nearly double their conversion rates. Website and social media analytics, social sharing, and email optimization head their priority lists.

3. They’re believers in targeting content. Top performers are far more likely to be using automation to make content decisions (83%). Even those not yet hooked into MA systems involve more stakeholders in their decisions and pay more attention to content. Respondents who said they succeeded in targeting 20% of website visitors saw a doubling of conversion rate in those cases to 5%.

4. They democratize marketing. The elite 20% are 88% more likely to involve other departments in exploring ways to improve and expand their testing efforts. Across the entire sample surveyed, those who said they used this democratic approach saw a lift in conversion rate to 4.3% from the standard 2.6%.

5. They pay greater tribute to mobile. Everyone now gets that a mobile strategy is essential to success, but some get it better than others. More than four fifths of top converters described mobile as important to their cross-channel marketing success, as opposed to two thirds of the rest of the survey.

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